Archive for adeptus custodes

Some thoughts on the new Dark Angels models

Posted in 40k, Custodes, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , on January 18, 2013 by krautscientist

With the new Dark Angels release now available and with much of my Custodes force actually based on Dark Angels models in one form or another, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the new models from a personal perspective. Expect no brand new insights or tactica (if you want those, head on over to DFG. Those guys have got you covered), however, just a couple of opinions and ideas from someone who loves to discuss models and dream of kitbashes 😉

So, let’s start with the Finecast characters, shall we?

 

New_DA_models (3)

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Belial

Well, not too much of a surprise there, really: He mostly looks like people expected him to, and also like most of the Belial conversions people did when there was no model around. In my opinion, Belial is quite a nice and ornate model, suitably imposing and baroque for a DA HQ model. It seems that many people don’t like the pose, but I think it’s really a pretty good idea to try a slightly straighter look for Terminator legs for a change. That said, if you really find the model horrible, overpriced, or just slightly underwhelming, nobody’s stopping you from just converting your own version using bits from the Deathwing Knights (as Mordian7th has beautifully demonstrated here).

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Asmodai

Another competent sculpt, to be sure. My main gripe with the model is that it doesn’t really feel like all that much of an improvement over the older version, which, in my opinion, still boasts one of the coolest skull masks ever:

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

In my opinion, they should rather have focused on a new model for Azrael, who is beginning to look a bit puny next to his blinged-out new brethren by now…

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Dark Angels standard bearer

Nothing to write home about: This guy looks reasonably similar to the older metal standard bearer, but sports a fully sculpted banner. While it’s a nice enough model, you could build your own version using nothing but plastic parts very easily, making this an absolutely non-essential purchase in my book.

 

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Ravenwing Command Squad

The first of the squad kits comes with enough optional parts to build either a Ravenwing Command Squad or a squad of Ravenwing Knights. The bikes follow the slightly updated look introduced by the bikes included in the Dark Vengeance starter box, yet they should still work alright alongside your older Ravenwing bikes.  Lots and lots of nice detail on these guys — as a matter of fact, they are almost a tad too busy for my taste. But maybe I am just miffed at GW for now using the rank “Huntmaster” for a DA unit champion. And there I thought I had come up with something truly original. Oh well…

On a related note, while he is certainly not a Huntmaster on par with those of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, I really like the bare head on this guy:

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

 

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Deathwing Command Squad / Deathwing Knights

Definitely the cream of the crop for me, but first things first: The kit gives you enough parts to build either a Deathwing command squad consisting of five models, five regular Deathwing Terminators or a five man squad of Deathwing knights (we’ll get to those in a minute). Again, the models look nicely detailed, with lots of options. Many people seem to be complaining about the price of these. especially when looking at the other Terminator kits. However, that’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges, seeing how none of the other Terminator kits gives you enough extra parts to essentially build three different unit types. So while these guys are indeed a little pricey, you should be able to kitbash lots and lots of Deathwing Terminators by getting one box of these and a box of regular Termies or Black Reach Termies, even (once again, Mordian 7th’s post here shows what thrifty use of the new bits can achieve).

In fact, I have a totally different gripe with these: While the amount of detail is really nice (and I particularly like the two-handed halberd), some of the poses and proportions seem a little …off: The models with twin LC and the Plasmagun in the above picture are the worst offenders in this respect. I guess that’s the price for making the kit flexible enough to allow you to build these guys as well:

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

The Deathwing knights are definitely the stars of the show for me! While I admit that they are probably not to everyone’s taste, I rather like the knightly, monastic look to them (it also fits well with the established DA look). The most interesting thing about these models may be their use as something different than DA, though: I can easily see these being a great base for a particularly imposing Inquisitor or a kitbashed and heavily converted Deathshroud for your pre- or post-heresy Deathguard army (in case you don’t want to use the new FW models). And call me crazy, but I think this is a perfect weapon for a warlord of Nurgle, if ever there was one:

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

So while I have little use for most of the DA release, I can see myself picking up a box of these in the future. It’s definitely not a priority, but the kit should give me lots of nice stuff to play around with. One thing, though:

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

I realise that you guys are super-mysterious and all that, but seriously, get that hood out of your eyes, soldier! 😉

 

And now for the vehicles:

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Land Speeder Vengeance

Well, let’s get this out of the way first:  I would love to be all edgy and unconventional here, but, like many other people, I am really not sold on this model. In fact, here’s what my first association was once I saw the model:

God, how I loved that film as a child...

God, how I loved that film as a child…

Yes, that’s right: Skeletor’s barge from the 80s Masters of the Universe film. Go figure.

Anyway, with its slightly iffy visual status between a landspeeder and a fully fledged flyer, this model just looks sooo clunky, doesn’t it? And I really don’t think that gun turret in front was such a good idea: What is that marine standing on? How did he get in there in the first place?

On the other hand, not unlike the WFB Warshrine of Chaos model, the kit should be chock full of fantastic conversion bitz (the pilots and gunners are quite lovely, for one). Still, really not sold on this one. Moving on…

 

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Dark Talon / Nephilim Fighter

Now we’re talking! Yet another combi-kit, this time a flyer. Most importantly, I think this is what a Space Marine flyer should look like (and what the Storm Talon should have been in the first place). The addition of Aquila shuttle-like wings add some much needed plausibility to the model. It also doesn’t look as squat and bumblebee-ish as the Storm Talon. The downside is the much higher price, which seems like a bit of a rip-off really. But there’s no way around it: If I ever were to build a Space Marine flyer, it would be based on this kit.

Strangely enough, all the archaic and statuesque elements added to the model to make the Dark Talon really don’t gel well with the overall look, in my opinion. While I am a big fan of the strangely archaic elements found in 40k, all those statues somehow look decidedly off against the otherwise uncluttered silhouette of the flyer. But that’s just me…

 

All in all, the new release does a good job in adding some interesting new models and units to the mix. The DA’s characteristic look is also further fleshed-out in a fitting way. There are a few minor slipups along the way, but my main concern are the rather hefty price tags carried by some of those kits – justified as they may be.
From a converter’s perspective, most of this is fortunately pretty non-essential: I’ll probably pick up a box of Deathwing Knights at some point, just for the heck of it. Apart from that, I’ll leave the new kits to the DA players. Still, they have been competently serviced, at the very least.

What do you think of the new DA models? Any gripes? Any plans for creative kitbashes and crazy conversions? I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments section!

In any case, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Guards, Guards!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Custodes, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2013 by krautscientist

While the Custodes army I started some time last year was originally just a small side project with a very limited scope and a “Why the hell not?” approach, several factors have led to the army expanding far beyond what was originally planned: One reason for this was the fact that kitbashing Custodes out of all kinds of Space Marine parts is just a whole lot of fun. And there were all the Dark Angels models from the Dark Vengeance starter box too. I had to use them for something, didn’t I? Anyway, even after completing the first two squads for the army, I still couldn’t stop building and building. Today, let’s take a look at the most recent additions to my Custodes:

 

1.) Kitbashed Cataphractii

I already featured all of the individual models, but here’s another look at my finished Custodes Cataphractii squad, basically ready for painting:

Completed Cataphractii Squad WIP
Originally, I had planned to build only one model as a proof of concept, but the Terminators that came with the Dark Vengeance box allowed me to bump the squad size up to five. While these may look a little different from FW’s “official” Cataphractii model, they were kitbashed with base models and bitz I already owned anyway, and I think they read as Heresy-era Terminators well enough. Still, five models should be enough for now, so the next step would be to actually get some colour on these guys.

 

2.) Sisters of Silence

Another spur of the moment idea was to add a small squad of Sisters of Silence to the army. This was made pretty easy by the fact that some of the Dark Eldar models make for pretty convincing Sisters when combined with a couple of more imperial looking bitz.

I recently added another model to the squad. This time, the model was converted from a Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior instead of a Wych:

SoS (10)
SoS (11)
SoS (13)
I thought it would be a cool idea have a model wielding a flamer in the squad, so I used a bit from the plastic Empire wizard kit and combined it with the body of a Dark Eldar shredder to create a flamer that looked suitably archaic and ornate (and was, once again, pretty close to the official HH artwork).

Here’s the squad so far:

SoS (15)
SoS (14)
I think I’ll be adding one more model to make sure the squad is actually legally playable. They could probably be used as Scouts, although that’s really not all that important to me. In any case, a squad of five will look nice enough, even if it’s just on a display board 😉 The one decision I still have to make is whether to paint these in gold (like the regular Custodes) or rather in a combination of red and silver (as they are seen in several pieces of HH artwork).

 

3.) Legio Champion

I have mentioned the fact that I am slightly addicted to building HQ models on several occasions. So in addition to my already completed Custodes Shield Captain (and another possible commander converted from the Dark Vengeance Company Master), I wanted to build an imposing warrior to represent a mighty champion of the Legio Custodes. I wanted him to look like he could basically bring down a fortress all by himself. Here’s the result:

Legio Champion (6)
Legio Champion (3)
Legio Champion (8)
Legio Champion (9)
I combined all kinds of Marine parts with the legs of a WFB Warrior of Chaos. I also added a slightly converted Thunder Hammer. The storm bolter looks a little too clunky, so maybe I’ll just swap it for a storm shield. And I have to be honest with you: The whole model was really heavily inspired by one of the very nice Custodes models over at The Buddy Times (I really wish Hashashin would get back to building more Custodes!).

 

4.) Jump Infantry

I already told you that my Praetorians were built using parst from the GK, Sanguinary Guard and DA Veterans kits. That means I had a lot of leftover bits from those kits, so I thought it would be cool to build some kind of jump infantry for my Custodes, using those parts. Here are my test models for a squad of five:

Jump Infantry (1)
Jump Infantry (2)
Jump Infantry (3)
And the second model:

Jump Infantry (4)
Jump Infantry (5)
Jump Infantry (6)
This one is a bit closer to the classic Custodes look, wielding yet another converted judgement spear.

All in all, like I said, these were basically built from leftovers. I considered adding the Sanguinary Guard wings for a long time, seeing how they are a really nice fit with the overall Custodes aesthetics, but I decided against it in the end: For one, the models would have looked like nothing more than Sanguinary Guard with High-Elf heads. Plus leaving the wings off means the jump packs look identical to FW’s MK IV jump packs, adding to the models’ Pre-Heresy look. And without a doubt, the leftover wings will come in handy sooner rather than later…

Jump Infantry (7)
Apart from the two painted test models, there are three more in the squad. I’ll probably paint these next, so expect them to be the next update concerning my Custodes army.

 

Anyway, these are my Custodes-related projects at the moment. All in all, the army remains a fun project to distract me from all the World Eaters stuff. Plus it offers me the way of using all the strange and obscure Marine bitz that end up in my bitzbox in new and interesting ways.

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Legio Custodes – some new recruits

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Custodes, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2012 by krautscientist

I’ve been doing very little painting for a while. Maybe it’s because these last few weeks have been rather stressful, maybe it’s the weather, but somehow I just didn’t feel all that inspired to paint. On the other hand, this means I had more time for a couple of conversion projects, so I sat down to build some new recruits for my small Legio Custodes force.

Kitbashing more Custodes is always really relaxing, because even though the goal I set for myself is rather special (make it look at least reasonably close to the official artwork while only using readily available GW plastic parts), it’s really all about creativity: I love to find out how all those Marine parts can be recombined and altered to make them look like something the Legio Custodes would be equipped with. Plus the very ornate look of the Custodes means I really get to go all out on those models! So what do I have to show for my troubles?

First up, I built my fifth and probably last (at least for now) Custodes Terminator. Once again, a Terminator from the Dark Vengeance box formed the base for this model. Take a look:

Flamer Termie (1)
Flamer Termie (2)
Flamer Termie (3)
Flamer Termie (4)
The left arm of the original model was cut off and replaced with a Chaos Terminator power fist. The DA torso front went into the bitzbox, and I used some (Chaos) Space Marine parts to construct a replacement. As you can see, I decided to equip this guy with a flamer, although I wanted the weapon to look a bit more like one of the “flame lances” Custodes Terminators are equipped with in some of the artwork. So I took a heavy flamer (from the Space Wolves terminators, no less), adding all kinds of bitz for decoration and lenghtening the weapon’s barrels with some plastic pipes from an old model truck kit. The muzzle was further detailed by adding a stylised eagle’s head (from the High Elf Archers). The overall idea for this conversion was once again inspired by Kaaleb Dark’s Custodes over on B&C, btw (he’s been posting new stuff too, so I recommend you check out his thread as well!).

I also build some additional models for Squad Asklepian, my squad of Custodes armoured with Astartes pattern power armour:

Characters (3)

I already posted this guy some time ago: The model is based on the DA with Plasmagun from Dark Vengeance. I used the model to build a Custodes standard bearer in older looking power armour. I may have to add some additional “bling” for decoration, though.

Here’s the guy I am really proud of:

Mk I (3)
Mk I (2)
A Custodes wearing Mk I “Thunder” armour. I got the idea for the model from Mywargame.com‘s fantastic turtorials for converting Pre Heresy armour.

The model is basically a kitbash, using a couple of different (Chaos) Space Marine parts and a Cadian head. While this guy may not be 100% accurate, I am rather fond of him. And putting him together took me only a couple of minutes! He also looks quite a bit less goofy than I imagined he would 😉

Mk I (1)
And finally, what may be my favourite conversions at the moment:

I really wanted to build a small squad of Sisters of Silence to go with my Custodes. I have no idea what I could actually play them as (although Scouts seem a reasonably good idea). Anyway, some time ago, I started fooling around with a couple of Dark Eldar Wyches and some additional bits, and here are the results of that session:

SoS (4)
SoS (3)

The base model is a Dark Eldar Wych: The legs and most female torsi from that kit are perfect for Sisters of Silence, since they look almost exactly like the artwork in the HH artbooks. If you’re going to convert your own Sisters, you also want to look for arms with puffy sleeves — but there are enough kits with useful bits (the High Elf Archers and some WFB Empire kits are great for this!). And you can splice together almost perfect heads using really old plastic Dark Eldar heads.

I also built a standard bearer, while I was at it:

SoS (1)
The standard is yet another part from the High Elf Archers, although I modified it a bit to better fit the artwork (and added a Dark Eldar back banner and an Imperial aquila).

I also built a squadleader for the Sisters of Silence very recently:

SoS (7)
SoS (5)

SoS (6)
SoS (8)
Again, the model is basically a Dark Eldar Wych with all kinds of bits added on top: I wanted her to look a bit more imosing than her squadmates, so I added a suitably impressive sword and a cloak (which I got in a bitz trade, so I can only guess that it might be from the High Elf White Lions kit). I am really quite pleased with her, to tell you the truth.

And here’s the whole squad so far:

SoS (9)
The only downside to these is that they require a prettty diverse assortment of bits, some of them (the old Dark Eldar heads) no longer readily available. Still, I think the results are rather convincing.

The only thing that worries me is that my Custodes army has moved dar beyond the scheduled frame already. But then, it’s just so much fun kitbashing these guys and girls 😉

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Legio Custodes: Shield Captain Fennias Andronicus

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Custodes, Fluff, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2012 by krautscientist

With two squads of Custodes completed, I decided it was time to add a commander to lead them into battle. I really enjoy building characters for my armies, and the Custodes with their extremely ornate armour lend themselves rather nicely to converting impressive commanders. However, I decided to start with something pretty straightforward.

Fortunately, I still had the Space Marine Commander from the AOBR boxed set lying around (kindly sponsored by cousin Andy), and I really like the model, so I got to work on him. Here’s the result:


The model is a very easy conversion, if you can call it a conversion at all: I just added a different sword (from the Grey Knights in power armour), a CSM backpack and a wing from the Dark Angels veteran sprue. I did consider changing the head and/or Bolter for a while, but unfortunately the model had a few rough spots, probably due to a casting mishap, so going all out on the conversion would have created all kinds of new problems. Still, I am quite pleased with the model’s composition, so I was okay with basically leaving it as it was.

When painting the model, I went for the trademark Custodes colours of Red and Gold, with some elements in Silver and Vallejo Halcon Turquoise thrown into the mix for contrast. Take a look:




The sword was painted in turquoise as well, to show it is some kind of Relic blade. I am not perfectly happy with the result yet (the highlights are a bit too subtle), but to tell you the truth, this model was a bit of a test run for a top secret HQ model I’ll reveal to you somewhere along the line…


I painted the model’s hair in grey to show the commander is a grizzled veteran. So meet my first Shield Captain:


Shield Captain Fennias Andronicus, “The Old Lion”

One of the commanding officers of the Lionsguard, Fennias Andronicus is a veteran of the Legio Custodes: Many are his honorary titles and names, and they cover every inch of the inside of his master crafted armour. Called “The Old Lion”, Shield Captain Andronicus’ age and experience make him a skilled and levelheaded tactician, yet his name is also synonymous with heroism and prowess in combat.  When the Legio has to face an enemy on the field of battle, Andronicus leads from the front, relic blade in hand, and becomes and instrument of the Emperor’s wrath.

 

You may already have seen my WIP Custodes officer converted from the DA Company Master, and given my history of building scores of HQ models, there’ll be quite a few more characters for my Custodes force. However, with this first HQ selection completed, I now have a small but legally playable Custodes army…at least in theory 😉

(click for a bigger picture!)

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

More fun with Dark Vengeance

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Custodes, Traitor Guard, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2012 by krautscientist

With the new Codex Chaos Space Marines and FW’s first Horus Heresy book doubtlessly paramount on people’s minds, let’s not forget all the great models left in the Dark Vengeance box! I am still happily cutting and painting my way through these, as you’ll see for yourself in a minute:

First up, some more cultists:




Quite a straightforward paintjob on the guy with the big gun. As you can see, I added some chaos iconography to the model’s apron. I also think the backpack with the tools dangling from it is a very nice touch! I painted these to look rusty and used:


Next up, a model whose design quite closely resembles the FW Vraksian Renegade Militia models, if you ask me:



I went for the dark grey fatigues typical of my Traitor Guard. The skin portions gave me the opportunity to add some contrast, and the rebreather unit on the model’s back offered a nice chance of adding some rust and grime.


And finally, the third cultist I painted:





While this guy would make a convincing Cawdor ganger for Necromunda, I somehow like him quite a bit less than the other cultists. Maybe it has got something to do with his rather unimpressive “potatoe on a lenght of string” weapon? I’m not sure… The dog tags around his neck are definitely a nice touch, though! I also added some blood to make the weapon look at least halfway presentable 😉

Anyway, with that, I had painted one model of each of the different designs from the starter box. I decided to round things off with a character to lead them:

I turned my attention to one of their leaders: the guy with the commissar’s coat. While I like both the coat and the Bloodpact-inspired grotesk, combining both of these elements on one model seemed like too much of a good thing to me. I also wasn’t all that keen on the arm holding the shotgun: In my opinion, it messes up the composition of the model. So I got to work, and here’s what I ended up with:





A rather simple conversion, as you can see. I wanted to further emphasise the look of a traitorous commissar, so I replaced the head with a fittingly sinister head from an old Warzone mini (an Imperial squad leader. The plastic models are still sold in bags of 80 and can be had for a song over at Prince August, in case anyone’s interested). I also replaced the left arm, opting for a Plasma pistol for no other reason than the fact that I like to paint small OSL effects on plasma coils.

The cool thing is that I can use this model as both a cultist leader (in a regular CSM army) or as a traitorous Lord Commissar (in a Traitor Guard list).

And here they are as a whole squad (click for bigger pictures):


I quite like the overall impression: They still look like a ragtag bunch, but the limited colour palette and unified basing nicely tie them together as a squad (and, hopefully, with the rest of my Traitor Guard as well).


For the second half of the cultists, I’ll be doing a number of smaller conversions to add a little additional variety: Exchange some heads, add a banner pole, use a couple of additional bitz,…

Here’s an initial impression:


The Helbrute’s also still standing on my desk, daring me to start painting it: I guess it won’t be too long now…

But what about the other half of the starter box’s contents?
Well, for one, I finally buckled up and converted the Deathwing sergeant into yet another Custodes Terminator wearing Cataphract armour. Here you go:





Again, a fairly easy conversion: I replaced the Terminator’s torso front with a piece from the Venerable Dreadnought kit. The right arm is a regular Terminator’s upper arm combined with a Chaos Lord’s Lightning claw. The result resembles the clawed gauntlets present in the HH artwork. The pauldrons are shinguards from loyal Dreadnoughts. I also added all kinds of purity seals, a topknot and a couple of other bitz.

Here’s a look at the whole “Cataphractii Squad” so far:


While these may not look as “official” as the new FW models, I am still reasonably pleased with the squad. I think they’ll end up looking rather nice once painted. And those Deathwing Terminators were in the box anyway, so the squad came at basically no extra cost!

Let’s wind up this post with two rather simple conversions, also for my Custodes:


The first model is a standard bearer for my squad of Custodes wearing Astartes pattern power armour. I converted this guy from the Dark Angel wielding a Plasma Gun (the gun itself was squirreled away for some future project, of course).

And then there’s the DA Company Master. With a simple head swap, he now looks like this:


Quite an imposing Legio Custodes Shield Captain, don’t you think? While these two models aren’t finished yet, I guess you can see where they are headed.

I am still far from fed-up with the Dark Vengeance models, quite the contrary: Thanks to the models I will be able to considerably bolster the ranks of both my Traitor Guard and Custodes. As as you can see, the models lend themselves rather nicely to conversions with a bit of thought (and decisive cutting…).

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!